5 things we know about Redskins, Buccaneers

By FRED GOODALL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:18

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Mike Shanahan doesn't want to rush a decision on whether Robert Griffin III is ready to play.

The Washington coach hedged on the subject Thursday night, even after his quarterback spread the word via social media that his surgeon has given the go-ahead for RG3 to be under center when the Redskins open the regular season.

``Operation Patience complete: cleared,'' Griffin tweeted moments after a 30-12 preseason-closing victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Not so fast, Shanahan said after speaking with Dr. James Andrews, who was in Tampa to examine the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year's surgically-repaired right knee.

``I did talk to Dr. Andrews and after talking to him, he's going to approve Robert to play,'' Shanahan told reporters. ``There's a couple concerns that he has. I'll talk to Robert over the weekend and let you guys know on Monday.''

The Redskins did not make Griffin available to answers questions. His teammates, however, expect him to start against Philadelphia.

``It speaks volumes about the person he is, just his sheer will and determination to get back,'' running back Alfred Morris said. ``I'm not surprised and I'm looking forward to him coming out and having a good game.''

Fourth-stringer Pat White threw for 181 yards, set up a touchdown with a long completion to Dezmon Briscoe, and also ran for a TD to help the Redskins finish the preseason 4-0 for the first time in 28 years.

Shanahan rested most of his starters, including Griffin, who worked out at Raymond James Stadium for about 30 minutes before meeting with Andrews.


Here are five things we know about the Redskins from the preseason:

1. WHO'S GOT THE LAST WORD: There was talk that Andrews would make the decision on when RG3 would be ready to play. The surgeon spoke Thursday, but there will be more discussions before Shanahan makes an announcement. And how much will the quarterback's opinion count?

2. OFF AND RUNNING: Washington led the NFL in rushing last season. If the preseason is any indication, they're ready to roll again. The Redskins rushed for 208 yards against Buffalo in the third exhibition, and moved the ball well on the ground against Tampa Bay, finishing with 130 yards on 34 attempts.

3. HEALTHY MERIWEATHER: Safety Brandon Meriweather started and played a half against the Buccaneers, his first game action since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last November against the Eagles. He didn't make any tackles, but just being out there gives the Redskins a reason to believe the secondary will be better.

4. WHITE'S COMEBACK: White is a former second round draft pick of the Dolphins who's trying to jumpstart his career. He doesn't think he hurt his chances of making the team Thursday night, however he's still probably a longshot with Cousins the clear-cut No. 2 quarterback and the experienced Grossman at No. 3.

5. PERFECT RECORD: The last time the Redskins went undefeated in the preseason was 1985. Of course, that doesn't mean anything once the regular season begins.


And five things we know about the Buccaneers:

1. SHAKY FREEMAN: Josh Freeman, who's entering the final year of his contract, did not look good in three exhibitions. He threw for over 4,000 yards last season, but his inconsistency also contributed to the Bucs failing to get to the playoffs for the fifth straight year. He and the Bucs say he should be better in his second season in offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan's system, however nothing he did in the preseason would lead anyone to believe that's the case.

2. REVIS ISLAND: Cornerback Darrelle Revis did not play during the preseason while recovering from knee surgery that sidelined him most of last year with the New York Jets. He's on track to start the regular season opener against his old team and is eager to show he's worth the six-year, $96 million contract he signed in the spring.

3. WHERE'S THE OFFENSE? The Bucs set team records in numerous categories, including points scored, last season. But the offense sputtered throughout the preseason. Freeman was sacked nine times and completed just 46.2 percent of his passes, receivers struggled to hang on to the football, and running back Doug Martin carried three times for four yards after rushing for 1,454 yards as a rookie in 2012.

4. BRIGHT SPOT: One of the highlights of training camp has been the development of defensive tackle Akeem Spence, a fourth-round draft pick whose steady play may have earned him a starting job.

5. PRESSURE PLEASE: Coach Greg Schiano brought in Revis and safety Dashon Goldson to strengthen a weak secondary. But unless the team's pass rush gets better, too, the Bucs still could be in for some long days in the quarterback-driven NFC South.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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